MINNEAPOLIS – If Nick Tepesch struggled Thursday night, his right wrist wasn’t going to be an excuse. Neither was the travel schedule, which had the Texas Rangers landing at 6 a.m. Minnesota time early this morning.
Tepesch flew in ahead of the team and showed his freshness immediately. He retired the first 12 batters he faced, allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings and helped the Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Twins on Thursday night at Target Field.
The Twins made it interesting in the eighth, loading the bases with one out against Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers. But Scheppers got out of it by inducing an inning-ending double play by Josh Willingham.
Joe Nathan worked around a two-out single in the ninth for his seventh save of the season, as Tepesch earned his second big-league win.
Tepesch faced one-over the minimum through six innings before running into trouble in the seventh. Willingham sent a solo shot over the left-field wall with one out, and then Chris Parmelee and Trevor Plouffe had consecutive two-out singles.
That ended the night for Tepesch, but Robbie Ross got the Rangers out of the jam by inducing a groundout by Oswaldo Arcia. Shortstop Elvis Andrus made a nifty play on the grounder, as his throw narrowly beat Arcia.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Adrian Beltre doubled to left-center field and scored two batters later when Nelson Cruz lined a single off the right-field wall.
Texas pushed its lead to 2-0 with another run in the fifth, as Andrus came through with a two-out RBI double.
-- Drew Davison